Seasoned Catholic educator joins administrative team

IMG_1114Marist High School Principal Larry Tucker ’79 announced the appointment of Dr. Kathryn (Katie) Baal as director of curriculum and instruction for the 2019-2020 school year. She will join the administrative team in helping move forward Marist’s mission to provide future-minded Catholic education.

In her role, Baal will partner with the curriculum coordinators, who oversee each academic department, to further develop Marist’s student-centered vision for curriculum and instruction. She will assist in course design, text selection, and designing teaching and learning goals and outcomes. She will also help develop the school’s professional learning community through collaboration, tools and technology, and ongoing professional development.

“Katie brings a breadth and depth of experience to this position which is unparalleled,” Tucker said to faculty and staff members. “She is a visionary and strategic educational leader who brings many strengths to this role.”

Baal, who hails from the South Side originally, was principal of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., where she served for seven years.  Prior to her tenure there, she served as the science department chair at Downers Grove North High School for seven years, and as a science instructor for eight years at Maine South High School and St. Ignatius College Prep. 

Her impressive experience matches many of the programs and goals at Marist, including overseeing a 1:1 iPad learning environment, focusing on faculty advancement of instructional practices, and growing student success through data and literacy. Baal has also managed the transition to a drop cascade bell schedule, which Marist will implement this school year. It features a rotating schedule, longer class periods, and time for advisory periods for students.

On joining Marist, Baal said she was attracted to the school’s commitment to high academics and its focus on serving the whole child by providing robust support services, co-curricular offerings, and faith formation. “Teens today are challenged by so many factors and Catholic education allows us to build on the foundation created at home in sharing who Christ is and who He is calling each of us to be,” Baal said. “Catholic education helps us navigate through the rough times and allows us to verbalize our beliefs.”

Baal earned a Masters in Teaching, a Type 75 certificate, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Loyola University.  She was a Golden Apple state finalist in 2018, and received the prestigious Maureen T. Hallinan Award for Excellence in Catholic Education from the University of Notre Dame in 2010. She is an alum of Notre Dame’s renowned Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.

Send Dr. Baal a welcome note!